The first instance division of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) has granted an interim order restraining the regional Assembly from administering the oath of office or recognising nominees from South Sudan pending a related hearing on Thursday.
South Sudan’s nine representatives are expected to make their debut in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) when the swearing in is finally conducted.
According to a statement, an application was filed by Wani Santino Jada, a citizen of South Sudan, against his country’s Attorney General, the Speaker of the Parliament, and the Secretary General of the East African Community.
The man, who represented himself at the ex parte hearing, said that in March, President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan appointed nine persons to represent the Partner State in EALA “in violation of” Article 50 of the EAC Treaty.
Jada appeared ex parte before a bench comprising Justices Monica Mugenyi, Principal Judge; Isaac Lenaola, Deputy Principal Judge; Faustin Ntezilyayo, and others.
The EACJ, the principal judicial Organ of the Community, ensures adherence to the law in the interpretation and application of compliance with the EAC Treaty.
According to Article 50 of the EAC Treaty (Election of Members of the Assembly), national parliaments of each Partner State shall elect, not from among its members, nine members of the Assembly, who shall represent as much as it is feasible, the various political parties represented in the National Assembly, shades of opinion, gender and other special interest groups in that Partner State, in accordance with such procedure as the National Assembly of each Partner State may determine.
In March, Anthony Lino Makana, Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan forwarded the names of his country’s nine representatives to EALA.